This week’s parsha, Parshas Ki Savo, begins with the mitzvah of Bikkurim, to bring the first fruits to the Beis Hamikdash as a gift to Hashem. This mitzvah has many deeper connotations to it, some of which we have discussed in this forum before. Here is another of those explanations.
The Kli Yakar points out an interesting fact about Bikkurim. The pasuk says, “וְהָיָה כִּי תָבוֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בָּהּ” “And it will be when you come to the Land that Hashem, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, and you will inherit it and settle it” (Devarim 26:1). The only other mitzvah which uses the phrase “וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּ” is in Parshas Shoftim by the guidelines of appointing a king. The connection between the two is simple. The reason why Bnei Yisrael will want a king is so they can be like all the nations surrounding them. Even though Bnei Yisrael are not supposed to have a king, they will be so secure in their possession of Eretz Yisrael that they will look to outside their heritage and adapt other philosophies. Similarly, after possessing the land, Bnei Yisrael will forget all the miracles performed by Hashem who brought them to Eretz Yisrael, and will only remember all the battles waged by their own hands. They will look at all the success they will have settling the land and conclude that it was their own ability that brought them such prosperity. In both these cases, something is needed to remind Bnei Yisrael of how they came to possess Eretz Yisrael.
These two words, “וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּ”, are fitting to use because we assume that we own Eretz Yisrael as an inheritance from our ancestors, the Avos, and that we settled it under our own power and national right. But this is not the case. By bringing the first of our fruits to the Beis Hamikdash, specifically the Seven Species that are special to Eretz Yisrael, we remind ourselves that we came to possess this Land only through the goodness of Hashem.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we can use the lesson of the Bikkurim to help us prepare for the big day. By learning to appreciate Hashem as the true cause of everything good in our lives (and by recognizing how much good we have), we can begin to truly make Him our King. May we all be zoche to a favorable judgment.
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